Monday, July 30, 2012

One Line

No two lines for me this time. Maybe the 23rd time is the charm?

We will be moving to another state in about two and a half weeks. It will be a miserable move, being stuck in the tiny cabin of a moving truck unable to go faster than 65 MPH with two cats who are mortal enemies. So, we have decided to wait to take Clomid until after the move. August will just be to exhausting and stressful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The familiar ache that sometimes happens in my gut and chest was happening again tonight. That ache that tells me that something is missing. I don't know what triggered it. I know my triggers. It happens when I'm surprised with things like hearing about friends' babies or seeing pictures on Facebook, hearing another pregnancy announcement, seeing my Pinterest page completely full of someone adding ideas to their "nursery and baby" boards, and pretty much just being at church... But I didn't come across any of them today. It's also a weird time, since it's not at the end of another unsuccessful cycle. That is when I am most sensitive. I'm pretty good at handling things the rest of the month now, which has come after a lot of practice and time.

I know people have gotten offended when I have mentioned that I'm sensitive about these kind of things before. When I say, "I need to leave church early today, I'm sorry," or "I wish you the best with your baby shower, but I regret to say that I cannot attend," I have had some pretty offended and non-understanding reactions.

Once, on my personal blog a long time ago, I went through a brief crisis and wrote about how I was having a hard time because I had had a really bad day and had several triggers all at once. I wrote about my feelings and how I was hurting, and wrote that I was annoyed at how much oversharing occurs on Facebook. I did not blame or condemn other people for making me feel that way, and actually admitted that I was being sensitive. I said that while people are free to do as they wish, I still didn't understand why people turn their Facebook pages into shrines about their babies. Someone, who decided to write it as "anonymous" so I wouldn't know who it was, wrote a very harsh reply, chastising me for my feelings, and saying that I had no right to feel that way or say those things about mothers. They said that once I was a mom that I would feel completely different and understand, and do the same exact things, basically telling me that I would eat my own words later.

After I read that comment I swiftly deleted it, then proceeded to cry for a while. Why is it that, in general, infertile women and men are not shown much sympathy and caring? When people hear that a woman cannot conceive a child, careless and insensitive things are said to her. When I am having a hard day and feel a lot of emotion at once, my feelings get brushed off, and I'm told that I just need to "get over it." Infertility is defined as a disease- a real medical issue. I didn't choose this any more than someone would choose to have any other disease. Would you tell a visibly sick person to just "get over it"? When I had my miscarriage, the most common thing people said was, "Oh, well, you'll get pregnant again later," in a flippant way. I just lost my child. My baby died. Would you say, "Well, your mom will just get remarried and you'll have a father again later," to someone who's father had just passed away? 

People are just not aware and educated about infertility and how it can affect a person. They just don't know what to say, or what to do to help. I hope I'm doing my part in educating you, my family, friends, and strangers. Be a support. Be understanding. When in doubt, just ask. "What can I do for you?" "What do you need?" And the best thing to say, "This really sucks. I can see it's really hard for you." Just lend some validation and lots of hugs. Please don't offer unsolicited advice, please don't tell me a story you heard once about a women who was infertile and did something that got her pregnant, so it's sure to work for me, too- I have a plan made up with my doctor that I need to follow, and please don't tell me that I'm just stressed and need to relax, and then I'll get pregnant. It's no more helpful than telling a person with cancer that if they just relax, they'll be healed. 

I appreciate the love that I have received from those in my life. There have been times when I felt the comfort I needed, and those times stick out in my mind almost daily. 

I have reworded this post many times, and can't get it to the point where I don't feel like I'm being harsh or lecturing. If you feel that way after reading this, I'm sorry. It was not my intention at all. I really just needed a place to express how I'm feeling, and was trying to help others to know what I need when I'm feeling down. Anyway, I want to end this post with a little bit of dark humor. I found this video very amusing, probably because I have heard at least half of these things from people. I feel that laughing and finding humor in things helps a lot. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


On all three Clomid cycles, I saw a positive OPK (ovulation predictor kit) at cycle day 15, meaning that ovulation would come approximately 24-48 hours later.

With this being a natural cycle, I had no idea if I would ovulate or not. Since I don't think I ovulated at all before the Clomid, I wouldn't have been surprised if this cycle was the same.

But, I was testing, hoping to see a positive the last few days or so, and today, on cycle day 15, I got it!

Being able to tell if an OPK is positive or not can be really tricky. With HCG, or pregnancy tests, just the presence of a second line indicates a positive. With OPKs, there is always a second line, the test line, and it has to be as dark or darker than the control line. You could see where the confusion would come in.

Luckily, some smart person invented a digital OPK to make it simple.
If there is a smiley face, it's positive! I have to get the simple ones, because I would make myself go crazy having to judge the lines myself. I do get some practice, though, because there is a stick that you can use to still see the lines with the digital tests. (You can't do this with digital pregnancy tests! There will always be a second line with those, even if it's negative). So I know what a smiley face line looks like:
The first line is the test line, and the second is the control.

Well, I hope I helped educate on OPKs a little bit!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Something to Look Forward To

John and I have decided that we are going to take a trip to Disneyland in October if I'm not pregnant by that time. It makes it so much easier to accept bad news if there is something happy to look forward to. Now, I can be happy either way- either pregnant or spending a few days in the Happiest Place on Earth.

We had wanted to take a trip to Disneyland in April, but it didn't end up working out. I think that October is the perfect time to go. When I used to live in Southern California, we would take trips every once in a while, and October was our favorite time to go.

We don't have a specific day picked out to go, so by estimation, I only have about 80 days to wait!

I've been testing with an OPK the last few days, and they have all been very negative. I'm hoping to see a positive in the next few days. I don't know if I will ovulate, since this is my natural cycle. So, we'll just have to see!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Plan

I visited with my OB/GYN this morning to go over my test and talk about what we want to do next. She agreed with the radiologist that the left tube is blocked, and couldn't tell if the contrast dye was able to push it open or not. So, we'll just go with it being blocked for now, and be pleasantly surprised if it's open later (I anticipate needing to do more HSGs in the future).

As far as what to do next, we discussed options, and decided to not go to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) yet. She said that if/when I go see one, they will do a lot of monitoring with ultrasound to track my whole cycle. The only thing I can see when I think about doing that is watching money I don't have fly out of my pocket.

What we all felt was better was to do a few more rounds of Clomid. What surprised me was that she prescribed six more cycles, putting me at a total of nine, if I need to take them all. I had read that it's not the best to take more than six cycles close together. But, she's the doctor, so I will follow what she says. Plus, I'm taking a one month break between, so it's three months on, one off, and six on. But, hopefully, I will not have to end up taking all of it! I'm just not going to worry about it now, and then decide later if I want to take it all. I can also take more breaks between those cycles. I'd probably end up doing that.

So, if I still find myself barren at the end of this natural cycle, I'm back onto the Clomid.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I had my HSG this afternoon. What a terrible experience! They all lied to me. It was just miserable because it was so painful. The worst part was when the radiologist injected all of the dye. It was the worst cramps I've ever had times 100, plus nausea. I feel better now, two hours later, but it was really hard to take at the time.

I haven't heard from my OB/GYN yet, but the radiologist told me that the right tube is open really well, and the left is clogged. A tiny bit of dye was let in, but it's not completely open. Hopefully the dye getting in there will help with that bit of junk and get it out of the way. So, since the right is open, they probably won't do anything to fix it. I'm really relieved that I don't need to go into surgery or depend on IVF right away. I will know more about what to do next when I talk to my doctor.

John was lovely and held my hand the whole time during the test, then stopped to get me an ice cream cone and a Coke on the way home. I was so glad that he was there with me! 
I dread the day that I have to get this test done again. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Next Step

On Friday I will be going back to the doctor for a Hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. It's a test where they inject dye into the uterus and then take x-rays so they can see my uterus, fallopian tubes, and uterine lining, and get an idea if there is a problem or not. It's not supposed to be too painful. They recommend that you take 600 mg of ibuprofin an hour before going in, and they don't need to use anesthetic. My friends in my support group told me that they were crampy and sore for a while after, so plan to have someone else drive and rest in bed for the evening.

I'm excited but nervous for the test. I want to know if there is something that they can diagnose so I have some closure, and know what I need to do next.

At the same time, I don't want both of my tubes to be blocked. If just one is blocked, they won't do anything to fix it. For both tubes, there is surgery available, but I hope I don't have to take that route. That's a solution that not many doctors recommend nowadays. Most just push you toward IVF instead. Depending on the problem and which type of surgery I would need, I think I would rather look into surgery first, since it would be cheaper.

But hopefully, I can finally have some answers. Plus, when the dye is flushed out,  it can sometimes open up the tubes and can get rid of some build up that may be causing some problems. So the test itself may actually help me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Progressing in Circles

Welcome to those who have chosen to come visit from my regular, personal blog. And welcome to those who are here to just read and experience our journey with us.

I chose the title "Progressing in Circles" because I could not think of a better description for what has happened in our journey. Every time we feel like we are doing something proactive, every time we feel like we are one step closer, we always end up starting back on square one, where we began two and a half years ago. And yet, we are progressing in other ways- emotionally and spiritually. We are progressing in areas of our life while still never reaching the end of the road. Hence, we are progressing while going in circles.

I would prefer to not give out a lot of personal information, in case I decide to share this blog with strangers or long-distance friends. But I will use our first names to keep it personal.

I'm Allie, and my husband John and I married in June 2009. We began trying to have children earlier than we had planned- we are believers in God, and felt like He was prompting us very strongly to start trying to have children. Neither of us felt like we were ready for kids, but we did not ignore the prompting. Looking back, I'm glad we followed it, because now I know it was so we  could start this arduous process sooner rather than later and have more time on my clock. So in February 2010, I went off the pill and our journey began.

Six months later, I took a pregnancy test, and it came up positive. Even though we had no idea how we were going to care for this baby, we were beyond ecstatic to begin our family. We knew that we had family members who would help, and we are both hard workers who would contribute and raise this child no matter what.

A few weeks later, on September 7, 2010, I had a miscarriage. I was seven weeks along, and it was the most heartbreaking experience we have ever endured. I already had so much love for our baby, and I could not believe that he or she was gone. It took a long time to recover from it, and I'm still not fully healed from it. We were back to square one.

We were able to begin trying again in January 2011 when my mensus started up again. But I immediately knew that something was wrong. I had had regular, exact 30 day cycles since the first month they began when I was 15 years old. But now, my cycles would vary anywhere between 40-65 days long, and I wasn't sure if I was even ovulating at all. I went to my doctor, and she did some tests on both me and John, and didn't find anything wrong, so she prescribed birth control to try to regulate the cycles. I took it for three months the fall of 2011. When I got to come off of it just in time to hope for a Christmas miracle, I discovered that it hadn't worked and my cycles were still as wonky as before. I had no idea what was going on with my body, and I was disappointed that the birth control wasn't able to fix it. Back to square one.

I changed doctors after that to get better patient care. In March 2012, this OB/GYN had a long talk with me, reviewed my tests, and decided to put me on Clomid for the next three months. Finally, I felt like I was truly being proactive in my treatment, and I knew that this would work. April passed, May passed, and then June was over without any success. Back to square one.

So, here we are. We are living life day to day at square one, finding other things to focus on and do, but this is still a constant worry in the back of my mind. We have a long road ahead of us. I just hope that we can finish our final circle, our final lap in this seemingly endless marathon, soon.